Recipe - Grape, Apple, Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Grape, Apple, Fried Goat Cheese Salad
Total Time:1 hr 40 min
Prep. Time:1 hr
Cook Time:40 min
4 boneless, skin on chicken breast (6-8 oz. each)
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
8 oz. goat cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. fresh thyme
2-3 tsp. jalapeno, chopped
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
2 granny smith apples, stemmed, cored and sliced thinly
2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
11 oz. baby spinach
1 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
Kosher salt
Ground pepper

Preheat oven 400F

To make goat cheese balls, using a tablespoon measure, measure out 12 tablespoons, roll them into balls, set balls on plate and place in freezer for 45 minutes.

Pat dry chicken breasts with paper towels to remove any moisture. Place chicken on aluminum lined baking sheet, season front and back with 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. herbs de Provence rubbing the herbs between palms of hands to release their oils and 1 tsp. pepper, drizzle with 3 tbsp. olive oil, use clean hands to make sure chicken is coated all over. Place chicken in preheated oven skin side up for 30-40 minutes, until fully cooked and skin is golden crisp. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.

In a blender combine 1 cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic, lemon juice, fresh thyme, jalapeno, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper and blend on high until well combined. Transfer dressing to jar or container with tight fitted lid and set aside.

Fill a frying pan about 1 inch high with olive oil and place over medium to medium high heat. To set up breading station for goat cheese balls, use 3 shallow medium size bowls, in 1st bowl combine flour with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. In 2nd bowl whisk eggs with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. In 3rd bowl combine panko bread crumbs with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Removing only 4 goat cheese balls at a time from freezer, drop them in seasoned flour bowl coating them evenly, transfer to egg bowl coating them evenly, then to seasoned panko bowl coating them evenly, last to hot oil pan, allowing them to brown 1-2 minutes per side. When golden brown on all sides transfer to paper towel lined plate and season with a pinch of salt. Continue steps until all cheese balls are fried.

To serve, remove skin from chicken and slice. Place spinach in large bowl, shake up dressing in jar, drizzle some of the dressing over spinach, season with a pinch of salt, toss to combine and divide among 4 serving bowls or plates, divide sliced chicken, apple slices, grapes and fried cheese balls among the 4 plates. Garnish each salad with pumpkin seeds, serve remaining dressing on the side and enjoy!